Sunday, December 19, 2010

Print/Paper/Book Techniques (Fall 2010)

Work shown is from my Print/Paper/Book Techniques class, taught by Jody Williams.

(Two images on the right are the final prints - each three layers, ink, from linoleum blocks)

This was the reduction relief project - each layer was printed after cutting more linoleum out. For each layer I used different threshold-adjusted images I had made in Photoshop. I had done linoleum block prints before, but only single layer prints. So this whole process was new to me and for some reason really hard to wrap my mind around until I actually started doing it (and even then, I wasn't sure how each new layer would turn out). The pre-testing shows how I tried to make "previews" for myself in Photoshop, and it also shows the different threshold-adjusted images I used for the final print (I traced them onto the block using an "Art-o-graph" projector).

Also, the subject matter came from an advertisement (about mortgage advice) I saw on Facebook one day - this guy's expression looked sort of humorous and weird, and so I guess I was just trying to be silly by using it. My teacher said he could represent the "everyman", and that my print made him look somewhat haunting and perturbed. (both points were somewhat intentional on my part, but I didn't think about them too in-depth before I made it).

These are examples of some hand-made paper (and patterns on handmade paper, using stencils). This was my first time making paper (although I think I did some sort of paper-making thing once, when I was little, with my mom), and I thought it was pretty fun, if a bit messy. I really like the textures and surfaces of the final results.

These three images came from a short collaborative book project. Each student in the class was asked to make one page for the book, under the theme "missing". The first two images were me brainstorming ideas for it, and the third image was the final result (linoleum block ink print, except for the red coloring, which is watercolor).

This was my first full screenprint ever. Kept it very simple. I made a stencil for each set of shapes (the swirls, the tower, the hill, and the trees each had their own stencil). Screenprinting was a totally new process for me, something I had no idea how it worked until I started doing it. This one wasn't too difficult, but the next (and final) project proved to be quite the challenge.

The final project called for a 5 layer screenprint, with at least three layers using photo emulsion. Photo emulsion is a chemical that is applied to the screen and then an image is printed onto paper (semi-transparent usually), which in turn is taped to the emulsion covered screen, and then exposed with a bright light (basically burns the image onto the screen). It ends up allowing you to screenprint an image that will look very close to the original image you printed out - combining different layers of different colors can produce interesting effects, and you can even get colors looking close to an original photo if you combine them right. I think that a lot of things you can do with screenprinting can be simulated on the computer now, but the "hands-on" aspect of it is appealing and adds some value to art produced with it. There are also interesting effects that can result from "human error" during the process.

My final prints did not end up being 5 layers - instead, I went with two different "versions". The one on the left is four layers, and the one on the right is three (all layers in both were made using photo emulsion)

Ok, and finally - the content in this one is my house (the one I've spent most of my life in), from a photo taken on my 18th birthday.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Illustration Topics (fall 2010) - Other Projects

Phew - it took a while to compile this post, but here it is - everything else I did in Illustration Topics this past semester (in reverse chronological order).

These images are all from my final project for Topics. I was working with the idea "Invisible Worlds" and looking at the illustrator/author David Macaulay for inspiration. I was working at a pretty high resolution the whole time, so it was a bit slow, but worth it in the end because we were asked to print it out at 30 by 40 inches (I was working around 20 by 30 inches before blowing it up to that size). The final "banner" print looked pretty cool. It was fun taking different textures I had scanned and using them in this piece.

Around the third to last class of the semester, we were asked to create three illustrations during one class period (or at least part of the class period - it was about 3 hours). I came up with three and then one more. The ideas came from a list of prompts that my teacher provided.

These two images are two different versions of an illustration based on a non-fiction book. My teacher gave our class three different excerpts from three different books, and asked us to illustrate one (either the excerpt or other parts of the book if we read it). I chose the excerpt from a book that talked about the Crystal Palace, a structure build to house the "Great Exhibition" of 1851 in Hyde Park, London.

This project involved taking a pair of opposites (from a list provided by our teacher Tom). I initially chose the pair "flora/fauna" and channeled my inner 9-year-old self to come up with some ideas. Then, because I couldn't figure out how to draw the perspective of a deer pooping from the flowers' point of view, I switched to "inside/outside". And the history. (dramatic moment for no particular reason)

also, I know I posted at least one of the deer pooping images before, but I'm just including it here again because it was part of this project.

This project involved talking to a classmate and choosing from a list of major events in the past 10 years, and then asking what that classmate remembered of the time they first heard of the major event happening. I chose the 9/11 attacks, so my classmate (friend Cameron) talked about his life around the time that 9/11 happened. He said he had a dog, who would follow him into the pine woods around his house when he had to drag dead branches into the forest (as a chore). I only included a hint to 9/11 in the illustration, and it's mostly metaphorical.

This is my "State Fair" illustration. We were asked to visit the Minnesota State Fair and make an illustration based on our impression of it. So, I made one based on the fruit hall, in particular the apple area. Most of it was watercolor and ink, with some adjustments made later in Photoshop. I did a lot of color studies for this one, something that I've started to do more often in the past couple of semesters. My illustration was one of nine chosen (between all those submitted by the two Illustration Topics classes) to be displayed in a gallery on the Star Tribune website. Woo!